Needing help, stopping HRT

Posted , 6 users are following.

Ladies I really need the experience of this group.  

I had a horrible time in perimenopause in my mid 40s.  I tried HRT to attempt to resolves the problems.  The HRT was worse than the symptoms.  After trying for two years, I finally gave up, and went back to using nothing.  Continued through menopause in the next 10 years, but  it was a breeze.  Years into menopause I developed vaginal atrophy and dryness, and that's where I drew the line in the sand.

My OB gave me vaginal Estrace.  I didn't like how I felt when I put it in, so I used it ver infrequently.  The atrophy and dryness continued, and got worse.   So like it or not, I started using the vaginal estrogen regularly.  All of a sudden it was like my entire body sprang back.  Slept great, felt great, energy and mood like I was 30.  But then my scalp started itching and my hair started falling out big time.  A dermotologist told me it was the Estrace, and to stop using it.  

Fast forward through seeing a dozen different doctors and specialists.  I worked with a "hormone" expert endocrinologist, who charged "cash only" through the roof.  Patiently hoping this woman would be able to help.  But must admit the side effects of the estradiol patch and progesterone were miserable.  Finally, when she thought by looking at labs that I was adjusted....I QUIT her practice.  If this was "adjusted" this woman is crazy.  

So with that background, can someone, any one, please give me your experience coming off hormones.  It seems that everything has changed.  My skin is saggy and baggy.  My hair is completely brittle, and my nails are the same.  I get strange pinging sensations throughout my limbs.  None of this is fun.  It sure seems that the hormones would have left my body quite some time ago.  Is my body now trying to adjust?  And how does this take?  Will I ever simply feel normal again?  

Love to hear what other woman have experienced when they dumped the bioidentical hormones.  Thanks for your time.

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  • Posted

    Hi Gail, I'm supposed to start HRT tonite for the first time. My ob/Gyn is an endocrinologist also, and prescribed me progesterone 100 mg to take for 12 days but I'm afraid to start them. My symtoms are all mental. Should I not even Start them???

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  • Posted

    We can't win with anything! What helps some symtoms, creates new ones! Maybe illegal drugs is what we need?!? Lol! Kidding!

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    • Posted

      Colleen, I'll LOL right along with you.  Do you mind giving me some additonal information?  Like are you in natural menopause?  How old you are?  Why HRT?  Are you presently taking estrogen?  Did you have blood levels taken?   I'm curious that it sounds like you are starting with progesterone only?  

      I had a doctor put me on a very small dose of compounded progesterone only.  Boy that was a mistake.  Don't want to scare you but progesterone has an anti estrogen effect.  If you have very little estrogen, it can cause problems.  

      And when you say all your problems are mental, are you talking depression, anxiety, or what?  

      Obviously I'm not a doctor.  But I will be happy to give you my experience.     

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    • Posted

      Hi Gail, Thanks for your reply. I'm 48, in perimenopause for a cpl yrs and experiencing mental symtoms such as depression., anxiety, forgetfulness, foggy brain and lack ambition. I'm not sure my numbers but I am low in progesterone and am supposed to start 100 mg progesterone tablets tonight but am having 2nd thoughts from what I'm reading

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    • Posted

      Colleen,

        Perimenopause is a very difficult time.  If you ever look at a chart the hormones are totally out of whack.  High highs, and low lows, often out of sync.  I did try using HRT in perimenopause, but had very bad reactions.  

      What I can tell you is that often woman will start having cycles where they are not ovulating.  Perfect time for this to happen, at 48.  So apprently your doctor did run labs in the second half of your cycle and could see that you are having anovulatory cycles and felt you needed progesterone to balance the estrogen.  It makes sense, and this might be just what you need right now.  

      A woman produces about 20 mg per day of progesterone the last 14 days of her cycle.  But going through the stomach, and therefore the liver, destroys most of what is taken in  pill form.  That's why you take 100mg orally.  Because most of it is destroyed.  

      There are many ways that you can take progesterone.  Orally, vaginally and in cream form appied to the skin.  I found that I did best using vaginal progesterone, and always have.  But you may be different, and the oral form works great for you.  

      Sorry, but I would never recommend a woman take BCP.  They are very hard on the system in all kinds of ways.  I did try them for a short time in perimenopause, but was put on a low dose pill (very common) and had horrible side effects of uncontrolable crying and shaking in the afternoon.  Then this doctor wanted me on an antidepressant.  No kidding I was depressed, who wouldn't be when they feel like garbage.

      But Colleen, the one thing I want to say, is that each woman's system is different.  Just because I have struggled with HRT, it doesn't mean you won't do well.  I wish i could be one of those women who says that HRT changed their life, and everything is wonderful.  But I can't.  These tiny chemicals are very powerful, and when the mix isn't right boy you can feel it.  

      My experience is that perimenopause was bad, but actually reaching menopause was a breeze.  I never had a night sweat or any hot flashes, I barely noticed a thing.  

      In perimenopause, what is often recommended, is that you eat a really healthy diet, take a good vitamin, get some good sleep, reduce stress, and do a little exercise.  This often helps things calm down.  Just know that your body is changing, and going through some stress because your sex steroids are changing.  Cycles can get longer or shorter, heavy and then light.  Clotting often indicates a lack of progesterone.  

      Hope some of this helps.  but even if you do try the progesterone for one cycle, you'll be ok.  If it feels really bad, don't use it again.    

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    • Posted

      Wow! Great advice. Thank you Gail. It's late and afraid it will knock me out and will feel groggy in the morning so I'm going to postpone a month. I'm supposed to start day 16 which just ended. I get up at 6 am for work and afraid to take it now and have been postponing it. I had a blood test day 2 or 3 of my cycle which is how my gyn, also an endocrinologist decided to put me on progesterone. He also prescribed me synthroid although my thyroid is normal. I've felt pretty stable, not my old self, but stable the past cpl days so I'm holding off on the progesterone for now. Thank you for your great response

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    • Posted

      Hi, Colleen, just sorta butting in here, but I'm wondering if your MD cautioned you about taking your synthroid with other drugs. Most cautions say you should take synthroid on an empty stomach with water a half hour before you take anything else, or eat.  My doctor told me an hour--she's extremely careful.  Some of her other patients set an alarm for 3 a.m., wake up to take it and go back to sleep.  I just wanted to give you this hint. xx Lynda  

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda, he may have but has a strong accent. The pharmacist should tell us when they see its a new medication. I've been taking synthroid and Cymbalta every morning together.

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    • Posted

      Gosh, I'm sorry to learn that.  The doctor should have told you, too. Thyroid medication is very sensitive, according to my endocrinologist.  For a patient to get the full benefit, it needs to be taken on an empty stomach. I think that if you start taking it on an empty stomach you will probably see more improvement.  Best of Luck! xxx Lynda

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    • Posted

      Oh, because you said you took it every day, I thought you were taking the Cymbalta at the same time.  My doctor insisted I take the synthroid by itself, which means I get up, take the synthroid and can't eat for an hour.  I'll stop beating this horse.  Thanks! xxx

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